New research showed that it may not always be good to talk about problems, especially for teenage girls, as ruminating about problems could lead to emotional difficulties, depression and anxiety.

The results were surprising because it has always been thought that talking helps. The study results were not the same for boys and girls. Girls were found to be more likely than boys of the same age group to develop anxiety and depression as a result of extensive conversations with friends about their problems.

Such conversations usually include rehashing problems and dwelling on the negative feelings associated with them. It’s been previously thought that such conversations strengthen close friendships but this turned out to be true only in boys’ cases.

Over 800 American girls and boys, aged 9, 11, 13 and 15, participated in a study in which they responded to questionnaires on their friendships. Girls talked about problems more than boys did, and it helped them build close friendships. However, excessive talking about problems also led to increased depressive and anxiety symptoms in girls but not in boys.
One of the reasons these negative symptoms may occur is that girls are more likely to take the blame on themselves about the problems that had occurred while the boys were less likely to do so.

There has always been a big concern about those teenagers who were socially isolated, however, the new study shows that those youngsters with supportive friendships may also be at risk of suffering depression and anxiety if the friendship is based on a pattern of dwelling on problems.
The study results show that parents and teachers should also pay close attention to those children with seemingly supportive friendships. Just because someone has good friends doesn’t necessarily mean they will receive the proper support.